Are you looking for ways to implement wellbeing strategy?
Do you want to demonstrate to your people that you care about their mental health?
Do you want to support employees who want to reduce stress, solve problems and to develop and progress?
I work with businesses who value the wellbeing of their people and want to support them to work through challenges whether they come from the workplace or personal life. I’m a real advocate of bringing your whole self to work. Authenticity in leadership is increasingly seen as essential, but it’s not just leaders who gain from being authentic.
Much of the stress and angst of modern life comes from trying to live up to all the expectations placed on us from society, media, family and culture and we often end up wearing a mask to work. When we are able to truly be ourselves – and allow others to be themselves – we are happier, less stressed, more resilient and more creative. We communicate more effectively and become more productive.
Most organisations have a clear idea of their purpose and values, and attract staff who share these. Problems arise when there is a gap between the professed values of the organisation and the experience of people ‘on the front-line’. Breakdowns in trust start small but can grow out of control unless your people feel like they are being listened to.
As a coach and Mental Health First Aider I provide a safe space to allow people to work through their issues. I don’t give advice and I don’t judge. I ask questions which challenge assumptions and give people new perspectives. I encourage people to take responsibility and to focus on actions that they can take to improve their situations.
It is well documented that adopting a coaching culture within your organisation can yield a multitude of benefits for both employee and employer. My blog post explains how coaching can support employees’ mental health and make them feel valued.
Coaching helps employees to help themselves:
- Solve problems
- Make decisions
- Set goals and achieve them
- Improve self-awareness and working relationships
- Improve confidence
- Manage stress and build resilience
- Think through ideas
- Communicate more clearly
- Take responsibility
- Improve productivity
- Be more authentic at work
I also offer workshops and lunchtime sessions on ‘Setting and Managing Boundaries’, ‘Managing Stress’, ‘Fostering a Coaching Culture’ and ‘Bringing your whole self to work’. Contact me to find out more.
Why employ an external coach?
Even with the best will in the world, employees often do not get sufficient coaching support from their line managers and workplace mentors.
An open door policy can be really helpful for employees but it can also prove difficult for managers to find the time to listen. It can also be all too easy to slip into a dependency relationship where the employee asks for help and managers give “the right answer”. This can ultimately lead to poorly motivated teams who are unable to think for themselves.
Employees can also be reluctant to bring problems to their managers’ attention or to admit that they are struggling, especially if there is disagreement within a team. If not addressed, situations like this can result in a culture of gossip and moaning and a breakdown in relations. Although it is at last improving, there is still a stigma around mental health problems and there has to be a very high level of trust in place to allow employees to talk freely with their managers.
An external coach brings the benefits of impartiality, confidentiality and dedicated distraction-free time. Benefits can be immediate. Coachees report leaving sessions feeling lighter, happier and more in control with a clearer idea of how they will move forward. Employers benefit from coachees gaining clarity whether or not the issue is workplace related.
How does it work?
There are two main options for coaching in the workplace.
- The traditional approach is to identify individuals who would benefit from coaching and offer a programme of coaching over a number of sessions or a fixed time period.
- I also offer a ‘surgery‘ approach, where I spend a day or two each month on site. Appointments are available for any employee to sign up, so they have access to coaching as and when they need it. Coaching can then be positioned as a tangible benefit which offers the opportunity to support employees who want to reduce stress, solve problems and to develop and progress.
Sessions are completely confidential for employees. I do not report back to management or impose managers’ objectives on the sessions. However I do use a system of anonymous feedback which allows you to evaluate the programme. Often I find that employees want to share the progress they have made through coaching with their managers. Over time I report back on common themes which occur and suggest areas where more focus is needed.
I have 25 years’ corporate experience in the Research industry (most recently at Ipsos MORI) with a reputation for being a great manager and people person.
In particular I add value through personal experience of:
- Balancing a career with family life
- Managing (and sometimes failing to manage) a high level of stress
- Transitioning back to work after kids, bereavement and serious illness
- Managing difficult people and clients
- Finding purpose
- Coping with the menopause
I am based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and am happy to travel to London, Herts, Beds and Bucks.
I am always keen to meet people and to find out more about the unique challenges of your workplace. Building a strong rapport with a coach is really important so I offer taster sessions with decision makers so you can get a feel for how I work. Use the contact form to get in touch and I will give you a call to arrange a meeting.